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Ochoco Irrigation District Project Final EA & FONSI

Published December 15, 2020

Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for Ochoco Irrigation District Project

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the availability of a Final Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Ochoco Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project.

The project is located in Crook County, Oregon and will install a total of 16.8 miles of buried pipeline which will replace the open, unlined canals and laterals of Grimes Flat and the IronHorse section of the Crooked River Distribution Canal. The project will also install a new pipeline to deliver irrigation water to the upper McKay Creek lands associated with the McKay Creek Water Rights Switch. Related improvements include replacing aging pump stations and raising canal banks to deepen channels. The project will improve irrigation water management and delivery, reduce district operations and maintenance costs, improve public safety along piped sections, and increase streamflow in McKay Creek and the Crooked River.

The Deschutes Basin Board of Control is the project sponsor and Ochoco Irrigation District is the co-sponsor with assistance from Farmers Conservation Alliance and Energy Trust of Oregon. The Bureau of Reclamation participated in the preparation of this Final Plan-EA as a Cooperating Agency for National Environmental Policy Act compliance purposes.

The project may be partially funded through the NRCS Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program (authorized by Public Law 83-566).

Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR Part 1500), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Regulations (7 CFR Part 650), the NRCS gives notice that an environmental impact statement is not being prepared for this project.

The environmental assessment of this federally assisted action indicates that the project will not cause significant local, regional or national impacts on the environment. As a result of these findings, Jason Jeans, NRCS Oregon Acting State Conservationist, has determined that the preparation and review of an environmental impact statement is not needed for this project.

The Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been forwarded to various Federal, State and local agencies and interested parties. The FONSI and other supporting planning documents are available for public view on the following website: www.oregonwatershedplans.org/ochoco-id.

No administrative action on implementation of the proposal will be taken for 30 days from the publication date of this Notice.

For more information, contact Gary Diridoni, NRCS, at (503) 414-3092 or gary.diridoni@usda.gov.